This paper presents the results of an ongoing study of e-government implementation in Lebanon. Following suggestions by various scholars that students of e-government employ theory to strengthen our knowledge about ICT for development, we apply a neoinstitutional theoretical lens to understand the principal explanatory factors that led the Lebanese public authorities, since 2000, to invest in e-services despite the country’s serious economic difficulties and heavy debt. We take an historical view that situates the implementation of an e-government infrastructure in the context of external pressures that Lebanese public administrators confronted. We focus on the social embeddedness, environment, and processes of Lebanese public administration to understand why Lebanese public officials responded when faced with pressures to modernize government. This analysis is based on the triangulation of evidence from semi-structured interviews with senior officials in government agencies who led the implementation effort, official government documents, and newspaper reports on the progress of this project. We find that the response by Lebanese public officials can be explained by the three isomorphic processes of coercion, mimesis, and transmission of norms. This case study suggests that implementing e-administration by developing countries is not necessarily motivated by a search for efficiency; under certain conditions, adoption results from external institutional pressures. Nonetheless, this implementation needs to be understood as only a very small part of a larger story of the history and politics of Lebanon which contributed to what has been called the “still born” implementation of e-government in Lebanon.
Harfouche, Antoine and Robbin, Alice, "E-GOVERNMENT IMPLEMENTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: A NEOINSTITUIONAL APPROACH TO EXPLAIN FAILURE. An example from Lebanon" (2012). MCIS 2012 Proceedings. 21.